Celebration of World Wetlands Day in the Amazon Wetlands of Beni, Bolivia


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On the 1st and 2nd of February 2013, Bolivia’s Amazon Department of Beni and the Ministry of Environment organised a festive World Wetlands Day Celebration in Trinidad, with a press conference and the official designation of three new Ramsar Sites held in Beni´s University.

Rio Yata Ramsar Site

The event was chaired by the Bolivian Vice Minister of Environment, Mr. Juan Pablo Cardozo, and Beni´s Governor Mr. Haisen Ribera, with the participation of local and regional authorities and the NGOs. The event was opened by a presentation on the joint work among the different authorities and communities that resulted in the designation of the three huge Ramsar Sites Rio Matos, Río Blanco, and Río Yata, totalling nearly 7 million hectares in area. The Ramsar Secretariat recognised the occasion by presenting the official site certificates and highlighted that the area of Bolivia´s 11 wetlands included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance is now 14.8 million hectares, moving Bolivia into first place as the Contracting Party with the greatest area designated as Ramsar Sites.

Ramsar Site certificates handed over to Beni´s governor Haisen Riberaand to the Vice Minister of Environment, Juan Pablo Cardozo

With these designations Bolivia not only shows its commitment and political support for wetland conservation but also makes an important contribution to the designation of important Amazonian wetlands, which are under-represented in the Ramsar List. As part of the celebration and designation process, a brochure and poster about the three sites were prepared as well as a video clip, which highlighted the size and great biodiversity of the sites. An excursion to the sites will take place on 4 and 5 February.

Official ceremony in Trinidad on 2nd February

The designation represents an excellent opportunity to develop joint actions for the effective management of the sites, and the Secretariat sends its congratulations to Bolivia for this great achievement and contribution to wetland conservation.

Rio Yata Ramsar Site

Report by Maria Rivera, Senior Regional Advisor for the Americas

Photos courtesy: Denis Landenbergue, Omar Rocha.

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